Today’s reading: Judges 19:1-21:25
Tomorrow’s reading: Ruth 1:1-4:12
In today’s scripture we read of Samson’s final victory over the Philistines, after they had captured him and gouged out his eyes. Judges 16:28-30 says, “Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands, 30 he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.”
Today’s reading: Judges 16:1-18:31
Tomorrow’s reading: Judges 19:1-21:25
Today’s scripture contains the story of the birth of Samson. Judges 13:1-5 says, “Again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord handed them over to the Philistines, who oppressed them for forty years. 2 In those days a man named Manoah from the tribe of Dan lived in the town of Zorah. His wife was unable to become pregnant, and they had no children. 3 The angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife and said, “Even though you have been unable to have children, you will soon become pregnant and give birth to a son. 4 So be careful; you must not drink wine or any other alcoholic drink nor eat any forbidden food.[a] 5 You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and his hair must never be cut. For he will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines.”
Today’s reading: Judges 11:29-15:20
Tomorrow’s reading: Judges 16:1-18:31
This section of Judges contains the familiar stories of Deborah and Gideon. It is the story of Gideon that reminds me of the interesting relationship we have with God.
The Lord calls Gideon to lead Israel against the Midianites and Amalekites. But Gideon is surprised by this call, because as he reminds the Lord, “My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manassa, and I am the least in my entire family!”
But the Lord reassures Gideon that he will be with him.
Understandably, Gideon is unsure, and requests assurance from the Lord. We read of these requests in Judges 6:36-40. 36 Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, 37 prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.” 38 And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.” 40 So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.”
This is the relationship we can have with the Creator of the universe!
Today’s reading: Judges 3:31-6:40
Tomorrow’s reading: Judges 7:1-9:21
In today’s reading the passage that stood out to me was Judges 2:18-19 which says. “18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge over Israel, he was with that judge and rescued the people from their enemies throughout the judge’s lifetime. For the Lord took pity on his people, who were burdened by oppression and suffering. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to their corrupt ways, behaving worse than those who had lived before them. They went after other gods, serving and worshiping them. And they refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.”
This is not only a pretty good summary of the general pattern we read throughout the Old Testament, but also the greater story of God and us.
We follow and obey, and great blessings follow. Then, we fall into disobedience and sin, and hardships follow. Then God reaches out to us through his mercy and grace (again and again and again and again) and we do better for a while. Then we screw up again. Rinse; wash; repeat.
Why can’t we just learn? The darn sin thing…
Today’s reading: Judges 1:1-3:30
Tomorrow’s reading: Judges 3:31-6:40